Oghenekaro Etebo

The Nigeria U-23 team against predictions in the early hours of friday defeated Japan 5-4 notwithstanding long delays in their flight from Atlanta, United States of America (USA) on Thursday night to Brazil.

Apparently elated by their triumph in spite of the frustrating experience in their long tortuous journey to the Rio Olympic, Brazil, the four-goal-hero in the 5-4 victory of the Nigeria U-23 team against Japan, Oghenekaro Etebo has said his target was to help the team win the gold rather than pursuing the highest goal scorer award.

Speaking at the post match press conference, Etebo who was given the match ball after the game, said: “Scoring all the goals in this competition and not winning the gold medal would have amounted to a waste of effort and that’s not my target. Yes, it would be great to see my efforts contributing to the success of the team, but if it will not lead us to the gold, then I do not want it.”

Etebo disclosed that the motivating factor in the team was Coach Samson Siasia who had played the role of a father to the players even in times when they did not believe they could do it, adding that the players were motivated to win for him.

Calling on Nigerians to continue to support them, the Portugal based marksman said they were happy to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians who they knew were awake all night to watch them play the Japanese.

The team had been stranded in the United States of America where they kept camp due to paucity of funds and had to arrive at the venue of the match just hours before the match with Japan.

Some pundits had predicted that the team would not be able to make it to the march venue before the blast of the referees whistle.

However, an arrangement saw Delta Airlines lifting them to Rio at the last moment where the team went ahead to snatch victory from Japan which had been on ground and well rested for the encounter.

The dream team as they are known, would be having their next match on Monday.